NEW INFORMATION: Mayo Clinic Health System to outsource transcription services; 188 workers affected

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Nearly 200 jobs in western Wisconsin are being cut, in a cost-saving measure by Mayo Clinic Health System.

The company says it will contract out 188 medical transcriptionist jobs by Nov. 1 to Amphion Medical Solutions, based in Madison.

Mayo said the move will save them 40 percent in expenses and it will try to re-assign affected employees to other openings within the company. It says Amphion will also discuss openings within their business.

“It's not good news, but hopefully it ends up being a number that our labor force can absorb,” Workforce Development Economist Scott Hodek said.

Medical transcriptionists convert voice recorded reports and physician statements into written ones.

Hodek said it's too early to know the effect of the cuts, but the area's overall job outlook is good.

“We have 400 job orders, in the area and that's 780 openings. So the economy is improving,” he said.

Chippewa Valley Technical College Health Information Technology Program Director Margie Konik said advancements in technology have decreased the number of jobs in medical transcription.

“(The cuts are) not a big surprise … In last five years, the larger health care organizations have seen a decrease in need for the number of transcriptionists because of the voice recognition and the electronic health record, so over the years, as employees left those positions, they didn't refill them,” Konik said.

She called Amphion a reputable company, that transcriptionists could work for from home. Mayo released a statement saying it hopes to minimize the impact of the move as much as possible.
Mayo Clinic Health System notified affected staff members Tuesday, May 27, that it will be contracting with an outside organization for its transcription services. Madison-based Amphion Medical Solutions will handle all transcription for the organization. The decision will affect 188 Mayo Clinic Health System transcriptionists throughout northwest and southwest Wisconsin.

Mayo Clinic Health System will attempt to reassign affected employees to other vacancies within the organization, if qualified. Amphion Medical Solutions also has offered to employ all displaced transcriptionists and will meet with them to discuss job opportunities within their organization. All transcriptionists leaving Mayo Clinic Health System are eligible for a severance package.

“Our employees are our most valued resource,” says John Dickey, chief administrative officer. “It was with a heavy heart that we made this decision, and we hope to minimize the impact on our employees as much as possible.

“While working with specialized providers of transcription services is not uncommon in health care, decisions that affect our staff are not taken lightly. We have an existing relationship with Amphion Medical Solutions, as they already provide a portion of our transcription services. Technological advances also have reduced our reliance on in-house transcriptionists, so partnering with company with the experience and resources of Amphion will allow us to focus on our core capabilities.”

Mayo Clinic Health System anticipates a 40% reduction in transcription costs following the transition. Full transition to Amphion Medical Solutions is expected to be complete by Nov. 1.

Medical transcriptionists convert dictation from health care providers into written reports. They also review and edit medical documents created by speech recognition technology.